Whitebox & SPS Commerce: EDI Drives Drop-Ship and Replenishment Growth

3pl ecommerce fulfillment
  • Partners Since:
    2019
  • Industry:
    Logistics, E-Commerce

Whitebox helps high-growth brands sell and ship their products to meet the needs of online consumers and retailers. The company’s team, many of whom worked at Amazon and other e-commerce companies, provides business intelligence tools, marketplace sales expertise and fulfillment services designed for modern commerce. When their customers started doing more drop-ship and replenishment orders, Whitebox sought out an EDI partner that could manage high order volumes and knew retailer requirements inside out. Their answer was SPS Commerce.

“As our customers grow beyond branded stores on Shopify and marketplaces, their next step is often drop shipping with national retailers,” said Rob Hahn, COO at Whitebox. “EDI is the language of drop-ship retail. Whitebox needed a trusted partner to provide EDI capabilities and the knowledge of retailer’s EDI requirements for our customers. SPS Commerce was the perfect fit and has become a valued partner.”

“EDI is the language of drop-ship retail.”

Rob Hahn

COO at Whitebox

Based in Baltimore, Maryland, Whitebox provides everything a brand needs to succeed online and in-store, including the logistics services of a traditional third-party logistics (3PL) provider.

E-Commerce First, Physical Retail Close Behind

Their customers engage with Whitebox to provide the technology and expertise to boost their selling power on online marketplaces such as Amazon and from branded stores. Then, Whitebox’s scalable services grow with these brands as their products draw the attention of national retailers.

“At Whitebox, we excel in selling and moving products,” said Hahn. “We are e-commerce first and provide an all-inclusive solution for brands with high volumes of orders. The popularity of these products doesn’t go unnoticed by retailers. Soon they are calling on them to join their drop-ship programs and in-store assortments.”

When Whitebox’s customers sell through brick-and-mortar retailers, trading requirements become much more complex. Each retailer has different needs and these change over time. “EDI was necessary for our customers to work with physical retailers, but it wasn’t a part of our company’s DNA,” said Hahn. “So, we looked for an EDI partner we could trust. Our search led us to SPS. They offer scalable EDI technology to support our volumes, understanding of retailer requirements and have a strong commitment to customer success.”

Online Shopping Drives New Opportunities

When stores closed in 2020 due to the pandemic, shoppers quickly turned online to find their essentials. “The global crisis accelerated the need for drop-ship vendors as retailers moved quickly to find inventories to support consumer demand,” said Hahn. “At Whitebox, our customers could say ‘yes’ to these opportunities. They had Whitebox’s fulfillment services, including EDI from SPS, to meet many retailers’ drop-ship requirements.”

Whitebox’s customers found they could respond faster to retailer’s direct-to-consumer orders. This cut the lead time to get products to consumers by eliminating the need to ship to stores or distribution centers. Instead orders shipped directly from the supplier to the consumer. It was a win for everyone.

Providing 100X Scalability

Whitebox’s customers grow quickly. The company’s services boost online sales for their customers and their fulfillment business has to scale to support the logistics that accompany this success.

“Scalability is very important to Whitebox,” said Hahn. “We sell and ship significant volumes of products for our customers. Anyone we partner with must prove they can meet our current volumes, as well as 100 times that volume. It’s challenging to find, but SPS demonstrated their retail network was more than capable of managing our needs.”

Knowing What Retailers Require

SPS has been working with physical and online retailers for decades, supporting tens of thousands of suppliers on its retail network. Each retailer has different requirements that govern every aspect of the order process. EDI is the most popular and requested way suppliers need to communicate with retailers and stay compliant. The team at SPS knows the nuances of these retailer requirements and builds it into their EDI solution so Whitebox and its customers stay in compliance.

“Knowing the retailer’s requirements and ensuring that our shipments would always meet these needs was critical to Whitebox,” said Hahn. “SPS knows what is needed, keeps their system current, and makes testing and setup easy. They are equipping Whitebox with services we need to grow our drop-ship and replenishment business.”

A Powerful Partnership

Since first doing business in 2019, Whitebox and SPS have become trusted partners. They understand each other’s business and value to suppliers. By referring customers to one another, the companies are helping these brands to overcome challenges and grow with confidence.

“Several SPS customers have been referred to Whitebox and we’ve been able to help them achieve their online sales targets,” said Hahn. “We appreciate the trust SPS has in us. They are helping us to meet our current customers’ needs and providing us with new opportunities.”

The Interviewee:

Rob Hahn, COO at Whitebox

The Challenge:

Provide high-growth brands with an easy transition to drop-ship and retail channels.
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The Solution:

Couple Whitebox’s fulfillment services with EDI from SPS Commerce.
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The Results:

Equipping multiple shared customers to meet the trading requirements for e-commerce, drop-ship and retail orders.

“We looked for an EDI partner we could trust. Our search led us to SPS. They offer scalable EDI technology to support our volumes, understanding of retailer requirements and have a strong commitment to customer success.”

-Rob Hahn, COO at Whitebox